Saturday, September 24, 2011

IF: Ferocious

zdepski's illustration of a Fierce Hawaiian Warrior
Fierce Hawai'ian Warrior
One of the Warriors that didn't make it into a panel in Puapualenalena, Wizard Dog of the Waipi'o Valley back in 2007. I scanned the drawing from my 11x14 sketchbook and colored the piece in photoshop by porting in a flattened version of the Sentinel and adjusting the color as needed. It's a quick way to make a sketch have more body and believability.
Click to enlarge.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Mesmerizing Duck King

zdepski's illustration of the Duck King - Moebius tribute
The Duck King
A tribute to Jean "Moebius" Giraud, and his influential work with Alejandro Jodorowsky and the Incal series in Heavy Metal. I was very taken with Giraud's work when I was a high school and college student in the early 1980s, and seeing his newer work with the Wacom Cintiq tablet furthers my interest.

The Duck King is just a weird little sketch from my trusty Strathmore sketchbook, imported into Photoshop for line clean-up and color. I used my old Intuos3 tablet in Photoshop CS5. You'll notice the same blue-gray used from the Hover Vespa piece, which was still in my color swatches in Photoshop. I think it works well with the little yellow Duck King ducking bubbles.

Click to enlarge the picture.

Monday, September 12, 2011


zdepski's illustration of a Hover Vespa cycle
Hover Vespa
I created a hover bike inspired by an old Vespa scooter I photographed last autumn while visiting colleges with my daughter. The bike was totally original, in need of a restoration. The hover bike I drew is ridden by a period racer, with aerodynamic jumpsuit and old-school helmet... very Tin Tin.
zdepski's photo of an old Vespa scooter
Old Vespa

Pencil drawing, digital color on a Wacom Intuos 3 tablet. Click to enlarge the images.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


zdepski's sketch, 911 Housekeeping
Falling - Housekeeping
On the tenth remembrance of the attacks on NYC, DC and PA, I'm publishing four pieces that haven't been outside of my sketchbook for as many years. I've seen some wonderful and sensitive pieces dealing with the subject, but my own reaction was removed and tertiary.
zdepski's sketch, 911 Maintenance
Falling - Maintenance
I was working in a web solutions company in 2001, building overpriced websites for companies that were willing to throw money at the new medium. One of our clients was a right-wing magazine called The Weekly Standard, founded by Will Kristol. Two Young Republican-types were visiting our offices that day, as part of their web team. The news of the jets crashing was streaming in on the TV in the break room. The YR's were standing in front of it when I walked in to see the towers burning. I will never forget the callous attitude they displayed while thousands of people were in the last moments of their time here on earth.
"I wonder how the Democrats are going to spin THIS..."
I walked out. The airport next to my office was silent. There were black SUVs in the parking lot, and the strange silence of no jets climbing from Dulles, 40 miles away. Birds once again ruled the skies.
zdepski's sketch, 911 Human Resources
Falling - Human Resources

I woke one night soon afterward, having dreamt of average folks falling to their deaths from high elevations. The first was a Housekeeper, then Maintenance worker and finally an office worker in Human Resources. Average folks that should have died from their vices or 90 years old, surrounded by their children and grandchildren, falling to the street below.

Five years later, I did an image of Muhammad Atta, the pilot of one of the jets, at his Eleventh birthday party. I thought, there must have been signs that this guy was a nut-job, and why hadn't anyone seen it? Here he's got his "I H8 NY" shirt on, etc...
zdepski's sketch of Atta's eleventh birthday
Muhammad Atta's Eleventh Birthday

I think it's time to close the door on this and move on. The sun keeps coming up, and the sunsets are still beautiful to behold.

Friday, September 9, 2011

IF: No Boundaries

zdepski's concept illustration of a spaceship based on a horseshoe crab
Crab-Body Spaceship
This piece is another design project to expand my SciFi portfolio. I haven't designed that many spaceships, other than a few retro looking Buck Rogers-style pieces for personal gratification. I've been trying the trick of making a broad shape silhouette and then carving into that shape with form details. Making a blob of black on a screen can be simple and daunting at the same time. I chose to model my blob off of a Horseshoe Crab or Trilobite, with little feeler legs out front.

zdepski's silhouette of a spaceship based on a horseshoe crab
Black Silhouette with Red Perspective Lines

I went over to to go through their portfolio of public images, which I used as the basis for my background and surface texture on the ship. I don't think the texture and background took 45 minutes with this comp method. I placed some atmospheric fog over the ship, and the overlaid highlights. This makes for a quick piece that is high on spontaneity and low on fuss.

The image is entirely digital, starting and ending in Adobe Photoshop on the Cintiq. Click the image to enlarge to 1000px wide.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

IF: Mysterious

zdepski's drawing of David Suchet as Poirot
I've been drawing Agatha Christies' Inspector Hercule Poirot from the BBC series with actor David Suchet. My son digs the rough Inspector from Scotland Yard that helps solve the cases. I've been sketching from the screen, whilst the show is running, so they're not very accurate. The darker drawings in the Poirot group is from our Whiteboard, where Poirot and his dog notice that "zah dog's dish, she is empty!" Below is a simple spooky image I call 'Slasher", inspired by watching the BBC mysteries. Sketching while watching TV makes me feel like I'm actually being productive, when I'm not.... mysterious how we try to fool ourselves.
zdepski's sketches of Poirot from TV
zdepski's illustration of the Slasher